I have a story amazing and true
Of a brother who loved much more than I do.
It is a story unique, shocking, compelling,
Of hope come alive. It’s the tale I am telling.
The story begins before I was ’round,
Before there was sky, before there was ground,
Before there existed the world that we see,
Before there was anyone but “I Am He.”
Within himself he devised a plan
To create a creature to be a man,
Shaped in the image of the one true God,
Born of spirit, born also of sod.
The man was blameless, one of a kind,
No sin, no wrong, no warped mind,
No temptation to fight, thoughts to control,
No need for forgiveness, a life yet whole.
But whole though he was, he was not yet complete.
He needed a companion to sit in love’s seat.
He needed another, a person, a friend.
God made him a woman; two lives to blend.
Now all was bliss, goodness, and warmth.
All was love of the happiest sort.
All was peace and full was the plate
With all things good. Nothing came late.
But into bliss a tragedy came,
A sordid affair with no other to blame.
A choice was presented, a temptation brought,
And far was the fall when the lie was bought.
Into the darkness the plunge was made.
Into the life sorrow stayed.
Into a world where wrong became strong,
A world of disasters, where deaths belong.
Deaths of relationships, family, and friends,
Deaths of companions; morbid blends
Of laughter and longing, of hope and despair,
Of a reaching and wanting and nothing to share.
Into this world of death I was born,
Into a world where life had been shorn
Of glory and splendor, rich subtleties.
Instead, life without meaning; death’s apogee.
I was doomed, lost to despair,
Hopeless, abandoned, no one to bear
The burden of sin, the hurt of pain,
The fear and confusion, the long shadow lain.
Life lay before, a meaningless thing–
Grow up, grow out, grow old as a fling.
Pursuits and desires, fleetingly false,
Attached to my soul as a leech on life’s pulse.
It all seemed so worthless, so carried by waves,
The ascent of youth, the crest of life’s maze,
The descent of aging, the trough of the graves,
The focus of life on the flight of the days.
Physical life serving only one goal,
Extending the race through the birth of a soul,
A child, then grandchild, and the next generation,
Can the meaning of life be our procreation?
I wanted more than life in such sand.
I wanted a purpose, a reason, a plan
Of hope, of joy, of immortality,
Of passionate relationships; not banality.
If I should tell you I found what I sought?
If I recount the treasure I bought?
If I regale you with joys I have found?
Will you listen a moment and not drown the sound?
The treasure I purchased was not with gold.
The riches of heaven are not so sold.
There is no store where joy has been stocked.
There is no drawer or door to unlock.
But there is a book of books that exists,
A book hallowed and hoary, enchanting lists
Of people, and nations, and wonderful things;
And through it all the tale of the kings.
Kings wealthy and worthless, kings worthy and blessed,
Kings saintly and sinners, proud and possessed,
Kings afraid of their shadows, kings fighting and strong,
Kings wise beyond thinking, singing his song.
Into this lineage a prince was once born,
A prince long expected, the dawn of the morn,
A prince destined to rule but not from the start,
For the book had foretold the test of his heart.
In the fullness of time, he grew to a man,
Wise beyond wisdom, the best of the clan.
He spoke and the words pierced to the soul.
He reached out his hand and the wounds became whole.
He opened his arms and welcomed them in,
Children of all ages, touching his skin,
Feeling his hands, smelling his clothes,
Experiencing a joy words never told.
Joy, oh what joy they found with him,
What wonder and blessing and heaven within.
He fed the five thousand on a prayer and a wing.
Amazed they sought to make him their king.
He did not permit it, his face turned away
To a darkening cloud blighting the day.
His focus was there, they saw in his eyes
Determination and heard a sorrowful sigh.
He took up the cross and trudged up the hill
To Calvary’s mount, swallowing the pill
Of sin, my sin, so bitter and dry;
The darkness, the figure, the cry.
Into the tomb they placed his spent form.
The prince of the kings, his life shorn
And with it the hope, the line of the kings
Lost forever, or so it then seemed.
But his death was the test to prove his great love.
His offering to God was fragrance above.
His suffering and sorrow completed the plan
To release captive prisoners, woman and man.
He led them in triumph out of the grave.
He led them to heaven, their lives he saved.
King of all kings, he finished the race,
Then turned and extended the fingers of grace.
The story does not end with the close of the book.
It continues today wherever we look.
The line of the kings is seen in this world;
His face in his people, his banner unfurled.
To me he extended his hand one day
“Come, be my brother, O child of clay.
“Come close to me. Come feel my heart.
“Come walk with me, and never depart.”
I reached out my hand, and fell in his arms,
So warm and inviting, free from all harms.
He welcomed me home, and spoke peace to me,
And offered me his presence eternally.
He did not depart to some distant shore,
But stayed by my side, opening doors.
He taught me of life, important things
Like truth and love, and faith that clings.
He taught me that prayer was right for kids,
Answering mine, closing the lids
Of my eyes when my mind was too frightened to sleep,
Awaking with joy at light’s early peep.
He taught me that relationships had two wills,
His and mine; I struggled to yield
But found that yielding was not what I thought,
It revived my will and gave more than I sought.
He taught me that patience was a gift from above,
Patient enduring yields beautiful love;
That patience implies a price to be paid,
A gift of suffering on me He laid.
He taught me to trust his work in my life,
With paths full of obstacles, pain, and strife.
He taught me to wait on his timing for me
When all seemed so lost, with no hope to be.
He taught me to know the press of his hand.
When faltering and lonely, I sank in the sand
Of pitying self and wanting no more,
He gently embraced me; and opened the door.
He took me away from the life that I knew,
The life that I wanted, what I longed to do.
He moved me instead to the place of my weakness
And used that instead to build in some meekness.
He took me away from family and friends,
And multiplied both with no seeming end;
Relationships, close, deep and strong;
His choice, not mine; but I now belong.
He taught me to expect surprises from him,
Big and little, “God-signs” trim.
These changed my life and gave me great hope
And joy in knowing that He held the rope.
He shut some doors, opened others for me
And allowed me to look back and see.
The adventure he planned always was best
Enriching, rewarding, providing life’s zest.
He taught me to listen, to learn how to hear
His voice in the midst of the dear and the drear;
His voice of instruction, guiding my way,
His will to perform, his command to obey.
He taught me that joy is stronger than wrong.
He taught me to sing His wonderful song.
He taught me to know unbounded peace.
He taught me a gladness that will never cease.
He gave me his mercy, he offered me grace.
He prepares for me a beautiful place.
He promises me great blessings to come,
Life without end, the final sum.
A brother of brothers, a friend beyond all friends,
A perfect companion, my king to life’s ends.
He means more than words can express.
Heaven’s treasure on earth possessed.